Writer/Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Running time: 117 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): PG
Japan Release date: 11th March 1984
Watched on Sky+ Friday 30th December 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
The last in my current series of Studio Ghibli films; you can have a little too much Ghibli if you’re not careful! Fear not, I shall be returning to films from this studio sometime in the New Year so stay posted. This is an interesting one; I found the concept most intriguing but the execution (I’m sad to say) left a little to be desired (IMO). Technically and imaginatively, it’s up there with the best of them, I just found it didn’t quite have the punch I was expecting. More of my thoughts after this very brief summary.
A thousand years after the world was laid waste small kingdoms exist on the margins of a polluted planet. One of these is The Valley of the Wind where a princess, Nausicaä, flies over the toxic forests in her glider. Giant insects inhabit the forest and she is respectful of them. She finds she is called upon when her valley is invaded by those who would unleash the monsters that had initially destroyed the world. Can she calm the beasts in the Toxic Forest before they destroy what is left of humanity? As you can probably guess, the Spoiler Police would not be pleased if I told you here… In fact, I fear they would send me back to the Toxic Forest (again).
Beautifully animated throughout and with great imagination, I can’t fault the way this film looks or the imagination of Hayao Miyazaki. To come up with a world like this must have taken a great deal of time and effort. I saw the Japanese version (with subtitles) although I have heard of a dubbed (and severely ‘kiddiefied’) version – beware this one.
I guess the problem I had with this film was that, although it’s brilliantly conceived and made, it failed to have any emotional impact on me and it lacked the punch I have come to expect from Miyazaki’s work. I guess the characters didn’t have enough depth for me to really care about them enough. Add to that the fact that I found it way too long and I guess it’s failing on two counts! Having said that, I think it’s still worth a viewing… You never know, you may love it a tad more than I did!... Recommended (just).
My score: 7.2/10.
IMDb Score: 8.1/10 (based on 29,997 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 80/100 (based on 10 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 63/100 (based on 65,379 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Nausicaä: It's so beautiful. It's hard to believe these spores could kill me.
Kushana: Nice valley. Think I'll keep it.
Yupa: In the midst of my travels, I heard of an ominous rumour... It said that a monster from the ancient world had been excavated from beneath the city of Pejite where it had been sleeping.
Mito: A monster from the ancient world?
Yupa: It's a God Warrior.
Mito: A God Warrior? You mean, the ones that burned the world in the Seven Days of Fire...? This thing...!
Yupa: All God Warriors should have become fossils. But this one managed to sleep underground for 1000 years.
Mito: Now that you mention it, it does seem to have a human form.